Pastor Thoughts for November 20th
“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”
Daily I am humbled by the fifth petition. Reminding me that I absolutely and utterly and even wholeheartedly need God’s forgiveness. This petition also reminds me that we are all in the same boat. Yes, all born into sin. Therefore, we deal with the same condition, same disease, same affliction, same brokenness, same sin.
Psalm 130:3-4 “If You, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that You may be feared”
And thus we pray for forgiveness. Luther writes, “If God does not forgive without stopping, we are lost…For where the heart is not in a right relationship with God, or cannot take such confidence, it will not dare to pray anymore. Such a confident and joyful heart can spring from nothing else than the certain knowledge of the forgiveness of sin” [LC III 91-92]
Indeed we are forgiven in Christ. The Gospel. By His Grace. Holy Baptism. The Supper of Lord. Gifts gifts gifts! And in faith, we receive receive receive the bountiful forgiveness from our Lord!
And through His forgiveness, we know how to forgive. Similarly, through His sacrificial and unconditional love, we know how to unconditionally love one another. Through His mercy, we know how to be merciful. Through His peace given, we know how to be the peacemakers. And in faith, we go, loving and serving, even forgiving one another all in the name of Christ.
Is it easy to forgive and forget?
As it reads in the catechism, “Forgiveness does not mean having no memory of past wrongs. But we ask our Father in heaven to free us from the anger and resentment that may accompany those memories. We relinquish them into His merciful hands and trust Him for healing over time” [Small Catechism 2017ed, 268].
Yes, we are in this together. Humbled by our sin, exalted by the death and resurrection of our Lord. And thus we have compassion on one another, and thus just as Christ forgives us, what a blessing it is to forgive one another.